FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 13, 2019
In 2004, an article was published by a research thinktank called The Center For an Urban Future titled - New York’s Broadband Gap. It’s remarkable how little has been accomplished in the 15 years since the article was published. Sometimes you need to look into the past to see the future.
It’s nice to see Starry, a Boston based fixed wireless company focused primarily on the urban MDU space, raise $120 million at a pre-money valuation of $875 million.
For $50/month, Starry delivers 200MB speeds to residential customers living in apartment buildings initially in Boston and in other cities. Starry, Skywire and other platforms which deliver OTT services are contributing to the massive increase in “cord cutting” which increased to 1 million homes in the fourth quarter.
Spectrum is so bad that even their employees are urging customers to leave.
The internet has taken over our lives. Whether that will turn out to be beneficial or harmful (or a combination of both) remains to be seen, but the fact of the matter is that it’s near impossible to conduct any aspect of everyday life without using the internet in some way. We communicate using the internet. We pay our bills over the internet. We consume news and entertainment on the internet. Many of us require the internet to do our jobs. The internet has become woven into the fabric of everyday life, but it has become so commonplace as to seem invisible. We turn on our computers with the assumption that we will be able to access everything we need, without a thought to the infrastructure that allows that to happen. In doing so, we ignore the role that the internet - and access to it - plays in shaping the landscapes around us, particularly with regard to determining the future urban landscape and the cities of tomorrow.
I had the pleasure to interview Alan Levy. Alan is the CEO of Skywire Networks, one of the largest fixed wireless broadband networks in New York City, with more than 400 lit buildings, more than 30 hubs and a near-net footprint of 25,000 commercial buildings. Skywire Networks partners with commercial building owners throughout New York City and especially the buildings located outside midtown and downtown Manhattan. The cost of digging up the streets and laying fiber in New York City is impractical and largely uneconomical. Prior to Skywire, Alan was Chairman and CEO of BlogTalkRadio, a NYC based digital podcasting platform. Prior to creating BlogTalkRadio in 2006, Alan was President of Destia Communications, a global telecommunications business which was sold to Viatel in December 1999 for more than $1 Billion.
Businesses today are 100 percent dependent on their internet connection for everything from internal communications, client correspondence, paying vendors, and in some cases, getting paid for their work in a timely fashion.
We were mentioned today on Axios Pro Rata!
"Skywire Networks, a New York-based fixed wireless business broadband provider, has raised $23 million in new funding from Metropolitan Partners Group."
You can see the original source by clicking on the link below:
Skywire Networks Lands $23 Million Financing to Bring Broadband Connectivity to Underserved NYC Commercial Buildings
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Skywire Networks, one of the largest Fixed Wireless Broadband Providers in New York City, announced today that it has successfully secured $23 million in financing from Metropolitan Partners Group, a private investment firm based in New York City. The financing will be used to significantly scale the company’s New York City “lit” building footprint and to scale its sales, marketing and operating organizations. Today, the company owns one of the largest Fixed Wireless Broadband Networks in New York City with more than 400 lit buildings, more than 30 hubs, and a near-net footprint of 25,000 commercial buildings.
"We are incredibly excited to accelerate our plans to deliver high quality broadband to the tens of thousands of New York City buildings and businesses which are desperately in need of high quality internet,” said Alan Levy, co-founder & CEO of Skywire Networks. “This financing further validates the massive opportunity and significant broadband connectivity problem that exists with commercial buildings throughout most of New York City. Unless your office is located in a Class A commercial building in midtown or the Financial District, it is likely that your building does not have adequate broadband connectivity required to manage your business. We call these areas 'digital deserts' and Skywire brings these areas up to speed without the hassle, cost or wait time required by one of the incumbent telecom or cable companies.”
“We are excited to partner with Alan and Alfred at Skywire,” said Paul Lisiak, managing partner at Metropolitan Partners Group. “We recognize the significant asset value already created by the Skywire team and are confident our financing will drive the build out of enterprise grade broadband to many of the underserved areas of New York City.”
In New York City, only 15 percent of the 71,000 commercial buildings are equipped with fiber and the high-speed connectivity that businesses need to run today’s modern applications. In Brooklyn for example, the borough that houses the fourth largest population in the US, under 5% of the commercial buildings are equipped with fiber. If a building is wired with outdated copper and/or cable services, internet speeds will many times be slow, unreliable and hurt employees’ productivity.
Skywire Networks partners with commercial building owners throughout New York City and especially those buildings located outside of midtown and downtown Manhattan where fiber density is weak. Today’s building owner must offer their tenants high quality internet solutions and many times, the building owner or property manager is unaware that alternative broadband options exist. Skywire provides an array of high speed data and unified communication services to businesses located in those buildings which are connected to the Skywire Network.
Levy continued, “The cost and time that it takes to dig up the streets and lay fiber in New York City is impractical and largely uneconomical. For fiber based broadband companies, it is not always efficient or economical to dig up the streets and deliver new fiber builds to smaller buildings or to buildings that are not near existing fiber routes. This void, which has been developing for more than 20 years, has created digital deserts especially outside of the fiber dense areas of midtown and the financial district. Vibrant business areas such as the Garment Center, the Flatiron District, far West Side plus most of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx are essentially digital deserts.”
About Skywire Networks
Skywire Networks is one of the largest Fixed-Wireless Broadband providers in New York City with thousands of customers, more than 400 lit buildings, more than 30 hubs, and a near-net footprint of 25,000 commercial buildings. The cost and time that it takes to lay fiber in New York City has become impractical and largely uneconomical. Skywire Networks solves this problem by delivering high-quality, low-cost broadband connectivity to potentially tens of thousands of buildings in NYC that currently suffer from slow or unreliable internet. Some of our customers and partners include: WiredScore, Van Barton Group, MTA and NYCEDC.
About Metropolitan Partners Group
Metropolitan Partners Group is a private investment firm based in New York City focused on providing debt capital to growing private companies in the United States. Metropolitan works to understand its borrower’s business needs and growth plans and works to tailor a customized capital solution through the skillful application of operational expertise, asset valuation and deal structuring. The Metropolitan team is led by Paul Lisiak, who has 20+ years of experience investing in private U.S. companies. Since 2008, Metropolitan has invested over $400 million in over 45 companies.
Yesterday the New York attorney general filed a lawsuit against Charter Communications, alleging that the cable internet provider failed to deliver on promised internet speeds and reliability. Connecticut-based Charter’s subsidiary, Spectrum, was previously known as Time Warner Cable.
We are pleased to announce that as a proud sponsor of the Long Island City Partnership, Skywire Networks will be exhibiting at their marquee event of the year – the LICP Annual Trade Show and Luncheon -- on November 10th at the Astoria World Manor! This B2B trade show in Western Queens will feature more than 100 exhibitors, local tastemakers, and thousands of attendees.
Google rocked the telecommunications world this week with its announcement that its Google Fiber division is halting its planned rollout in 10 cities and that its chief executive, Craig Barratt, is stepping down. Layoffs are planned.